How Doctors That Send an SMS Reminder Decrease Appointment No-Shows By 38%

01 Oct

Unfortunately, people get busy. They have families, careers, and other commitments. Suddenly, the appointment card they stuck to the fridge is forgotten. Now you’re stuck with an empty appointment slot. The worst part is that missed appointments can cost your office hundreds or thousands of dollars per year. 

You don’t have the time, energy, or manpower to call every patient ahead of their appointment. Even worse, people rarely answer the phone. 

What if there was an easier way to contact patients for appointment confirmations? 

In most instances, SMS reminders can decrease appointment no-shows up to 38%. Don't believe us? We'll show you how to reduce appointment no-shows using Business Text Messaging.

How to Use SMS Reminder Notifications to Reduce No-Shows

Let’s imagine for a moment that each appointment you take with a patient nets you  $100 profit, and you have ten no-shows each week. If text message reminders cut your no-shows down to only six each week, that would result in an additional $20,800 in annual revenue.

Let’s look at how you can start to implement SMS reminders in your practice.

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

Send Automated Appointment Reminders (2 Weeks/2 Days)

One of the most important ways to make sure that patients show up is to make sure that they receive reminders in advance of their appointment. Some doctors schedule appointments months in advance. Unfortunately, patients can easily forget and double-book themselves weeks ahead of time. 

To help your patients remember their appointments, schedule two different reminders. Send one out two weeks before the appointment and then send another message two days before.

Include Date, Time, and Location Information

The SMS reminders that you send should make it easy for patients to add the appointment to their calendar. From their calendar view, patients can easily identify scheduling conflicts. 

Make sure that your SMS message includes the date and time of the appointment.  Additionally, be sure to include your business address and phone number.  

Make it Easy for Contacts to Confirm/Deny the Appointment

A great SMS appointment reminder program allows users to easily confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments. Don’t make your patients jump through hoops to change their appointment time. 

One of the simplest ways to streamline appointment confirmations, cancellations, and rescheduling is with one of these keywords: 

  1. “Yes” to confirm their appointment.
  2. “No” if they need to cancel.
  3. “Reschedule” if they need to change the appointment.

Your office admin will be able to review SMS responses and update your appointment book accordingly. 

Additionally, some SMS providers will automatically confirm or cancel appointments for you. In this way, office administrators only need to interact with patients who reschedule. From there, administrators can easily call, text, or email patients to get a new time and date scheduled. 

Personalize Appointment Reminders

SMS appointment reminders may be simple and utilitarian, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be personal. Your appointment reminders should be brief and personal. 

For example, instead of sending a boring text like, “You have an appointment on Friday, at 3:00 PM,” you could send something like this…

“Hello Jane! Reminder: You have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Dan on Friday at 3:00 PM. Please reply with YES to confirm or NO to cancel.” 

In most cases, patients prefer a bit of personalization. Every message you send represents your commitment to your patients and the voice of your brand, so be sure to add that personal touch.

Partner With an Experienced SMS Alert Provider

Are you ready to invest in SMS reminder campaigns for your practice? If so, it’s time to find a world-class business text messaging solutions partner to help you.

The right SMS provider will make it easier for you to engage with your patients, send reminders, and more. SMS reminder campaigns make it easy to schedule timely and personalized reminders to help you decrease no-shows.

Thousands of other practices rely on EZ Texting’s easy-to-use SMS and MMS messaging service to inspire more interactive, thoughtful, and engaging communication with their patients.

Do you want to save time, increase patient satisfaction, and be successful?

We’ve helped over 50,000 customers send more than 4 billion messages and have had the honor and privilege of having some of the best SMS marketers as our clients. We’ve seen some of the amazing things they do with our platform and have discovered some patterns in the things they do to be successful.

We’ve compiled some of the best strategies into nine steps that you can follow on your roadmap to building successful SMS campaigns. Download The 9-Step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing and get started building your SMS strategy today.

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

Photo: Adobe Stock/DragonImages

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